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Next Generation Electronic Support Measures Trainer for Submarines


OBJECTIVE: Develop a game-based adaptive training prototype for the submarine AN/BLQ-10 ESM operator to include realistic training scenarios presented on an animated and interactive AN/BLQ-10 workstation with adaptive feedback to the operator. DESCRIPTION: The decision-making process in the Undersea Domain has become flooded with information processing at all stages, from sensor data through digital archives to analysis. Undersea warfare has global dimensions where military actions taken at each stage can have wide implications and require rapid, comprehensive, and sound interpretation of large volumes of sensor data to succeed. Without enabling tools, risks such as mistaken identity or association can be costly. The ability to manage and leverage escalating volumes of sensor data is fundamentally important for effective operations and has the potential to help undersea warfighters with situational awareness and provide rapid support to operations. Of primary concern is the ability of submarine crews to manage increasingly complex sensor data in the electronic domain in Anti-Access Area Denial environments. There is a need to improve our ability to incorporate this data into shipboard and submarine tactical decision-making from the sensor level (improved electronic sensor planning) to shipboard tactical level (incorporation of electronic sensor plans into overall ship and submarine planning.) Additionally, the Undersea Enterprise is concerned with the ability of the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) to manage large volumes of sensor data. In the mid-70s, the IUSS community operated twenty-two facilities and employed over 3500 personnel to detect, classify, and provide timely reporting of information on submarines and other contacts of interest. Today, modern technology has both increased the detection capabilities of ocean sensors while consolidating the number of ocean processing facilities. Today, the Undersea Enterprise operates two ocean processing facilities with approximately 1000 personnel creating a classic sensor information overload problem. The requirement to make good decisions and control risk in undersea operations demands the development of tools to manage sensor overload in both the electronic and IUSS domains. State-of-the-art AN/BLQ-10 [1] training devices are expensive, unreliable, and provide radio frequency emission output only. The training scenarios are inflexible, require the student to progress from easy to hard lessons with minimal feedback, and the AN/BLQ-10 training interface does not match the actual system. This training deficiency results in EW operators lack of declarative (knowing"that") and procedural (knowing"how") knowledge in operating the AN/BLQ-10 system which negatively impacts the submarine command team"s decision making processes. By developing game-based training software and adaptive learning algorithm techniques, a new interactive AN/BLQ-10 training capability may meet submarine EW fleet requirements. The Next Generation Digital ESM Adaptive Trainer for the submarine EW operator should be embedded in the Next Generation Submarine EW system. The Next Generation Submarine EW system will digitize the radio frequency (RF) spectrum, providing digital data sets (i.e., Emitter Tracks, Pulse Descriptor Words, Continuous Digital Intermediate Frequency and Burst Digital Intermediate Frequency) in real time to the AN/BLQ-10 processing layer and output will be distributed to the controls, displays, and workstation for operator interaction. Required are All-World Environment Electronic Domain models and mapping from authoritarian ESM sources (e.g., electromagnetic) that support realistic planning, course of action analysis, and training. The Next Generation Digital ESM Adaptive Trainer must create gaming scenarios that establish and maintain kinematics of the gaming environment and provide input to the individual subsystem processing algorithms to allow the electronic operator sitting at the AN/BLQ-10 workstation to manipulate the generated environment as he would if he was receiving RF from the environment. The eventual training system must be modular and easily extensible to allow for future growth as the AN/BLQ-10 adds or improves functionality and data sources. The training system must generate multiple training scenarios and support up to 2048 simultaneous digital emitter streams. The training system must generate Integrated Broadcast Service data feed simulations that are time coincident with the rest of the operational scenario. The EW training system must provide Submarine Warfare Federated Tactical Systems/Tactical Local Area Network (TACLAN) contacts to the EW system and are time coincident with the operational scenario. The Next Generation Digital ESM Adaptive Trainer will allow the operator to interact with the simulation data as well as archive data, such as emitter databases - leveraging the processing applications and data store capability resident in the AN/BLQ-10 without building simulated applications needing to be refreshed when the AN/BLQ-10 is updated. The Next Generation Digital ESM Adaptive Trainer must be limited to 12U of physical frontal footprint in a standard 19 inch rack and consume no more than 8000 watts of energy while in operation. The Next Generation Digital ESM Adaptive Trainer must operate in multiple classifications from UNCLASSIFIED to TOP SECRET SCI. PHASE I: The small business will determine the technical feasibility of a Next Generation Digital ESM Game-Based Adaptive Trainer for submarine ESM operators. The small business shall (1) define and develop an ashore-based hardware and software architecture trainer concept that would connect to the submarine TACLAN simulator and AN/BLQ-10 system, (2) define and develop an afloat-based hardware and software architecture trainer concept that would connect to the submarine TACLAN and Virginia Class submarine Onboard Team Trainer master controller that interfaces with the Digital EW Trainer, (3) define and develop an adaptive training approach to measure operator performance and provide trainee and trainer feedback, and (4) produce a conceptual design of an Adaptive Trainer concept and model key components such as AN/BLQ-10 interface display, operator performance, and feedback. PHASE II: Using results from Phase I construct and validate the prototype for the operation of a Next Generation Digital ESM Game-Based Adaptive Trainer for submarine ESM operator. The operator interface will link to the actual AN/BLQ-10 workstation and supporting software. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation and modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including numerous deployment cycles. Develop and demonstrate automatic human performance data collection that passively collects ESM operator input while sitting at an AN/BLQ-10 workstation. Develop, demonstrate, and field test a game-based adaptive training prototype that links the AN/BLQ-10 workstation, submarine TACLAN, and operator decisions. The field test data collection should demonstrate that operators using the Adaptive Trainer prototype achieved greater skill levels than operators using the traditional AN/BLQ-10 training system. PHASE III: If Phase II is successful, the company will support NAVSEA 07TR (Undersea Warfare Training) and PMS-435 (Submarine Imaging and Electronic Warfare Systems) in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop a Next Generation Digital ESM Trainer for submarines for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: Government commercialization should be applicable across all EW training platforms in the Navy. Commercial applicability could be utilized in the telecommunications industry and in information technology architecture training to name a few. REFERENCES: 1."Undersea Warfare."Issue 11. Spring 2001 Ships, Sensors and Weapons. 2. Adamy, David, L. 2004. EW 102: A Second Course in Electronic Warfare. Artech House Press. 3. Bloom, B. S. 1984."The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring."Educational Researcher 13: 416. & uid=2129 & uid=2 & uid=70 & uid=4 & uid=3739256 & sid=21100872546721. 4. Fletcher, J. D. 2009."Education and Training Technology in the Military."Science 323: 7275. DOI: 10.1126/science.1167778. 5. Fletcher, J. D. 2011."DARPA Education Dominance Program: April 2010 and November 2010 Digital Tutor Assessments."IDA Document NS D-4260. Alexandria, VA: Institute for Defense Analyses. 6. Hyltin, T.M. 2000."The Beginnings of Solid State Radar."Vol. 36, Issue 3. DOI 10.1109/7.869524. 7. Kay, Steven M. 1993."Fundamentals of Statistical Signal Processing Vol. 1."Prentice Hall 8. Shute, V. J. and Zapata-Rivera, D. 2008. Adaptive Technologies. In J. M. Spector, D. Merrill, J. van Merrinboer, and M. Driscoll (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (3rd Edition) (pp. 277-294). New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 9. Wiley R. 1993."The Analysis of Radar Signals."2nd ed. London, U.K.: Artech House Press.
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